Caught your attention, did I? Well, good, because I really need to talk about vaginas. Not the body part, but the word.
Today I saw this article on The Frisky about pubic hair and what women do with it. I, for one, am not particularly interested in how many women are styling or not. But evidently, this is a serious fashion issue. It seems that personal grooming “down there” was quite trendy for a while, and now it is less so. The article begins by acknowledging the angst of women everywhere when they ask themselves, coiffed or au naturel?
Pubic hair trends change so quickly, our vaginas can barely keep up. It’s like you’ve finally working up the nerve to stop shaving and start waxing her bald and the next thing you know there’s a celeb who goes public about how she prefers feathers and rhinestones down there. All these mixed messages about your pubic hair might leave you naked, in the shower, razor in hand, shouting WHICH ONE IS IT, WORLD? HOW DO YOU WANT MY VAGINA [TO] LOOK?
My question isn’t whether or not to groom. My question is: Why do so few people know what a vagina is? When did Americans become so dumbed-down that they stopped knowing the correct names of body parts?
Merriam-Webster defines a vagina as:
the passage in a woman’s or female animal’s body that leads from the uterus to the outside of the body a canal in a female mammal that leads from the uterus to the external orifice of the genital canal a canal that is similar in function or location to the vagina and occurs in various animals other than mammals
MedTerms chimes in which a more clinical definition:
The muscular canal that extends from the cervix to the outside of the body. It is usually 6 to 7 inches in length, and its walls are lined with mucous membrane. It includes two vaultlike structures: the anterior (front) vaginal fornix and the posterior (rear) vaginal fornix. The cervix protrudes slightly into the vagina, and through a tiny hole in the cervix (the os), sperm make their way toward the internal reproductive organs. The vagina also includes numerous tiny glands that make vaginal secretions.
What’s missing in those definitions? If you said “pubic hair,” give yourself a gold star, because VAGINAS DON’T HAVE HAIR. The vagina is an internal organ. There is a little opening that leads to the outside, and all the outside stuff in the general vicinity of the opening is called the vulva. Encyclopædia Brittanica has a nice diagram of the vulva, with the various parts very clearly noted by name.
Do you see anything there labeled “vagina”? Neither do I. I see “vaginal opening,” which means it’s an opening into something that YOU DON’T SEE.
So if a woman wants a hairless vagina, all she has to do is…nothing. If, on the other hand, she want a hairless vulva, then get out that razor.
Today marks the 150th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln’s famous Gettysburg Address. Widely regarded as one of the finest speeches in our nation’s history, it was delivered by Lincoln at the ceremony dedicating the Gettysburg National Cemetery, one of about 180 military cemeteries now run by the United States government in 41 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.
With the exception of Arlington National Cemetery, Gettysburg is arguably the country’s best known military cemetery. Like Arlington, the Gettysburg cemetery was established during the American Civil War to bury the enormous number of Union dead. Unlike Arlington, Gettysburg is located in the small southern Pennsylvania town where those there interred died in the bloodiest battle of the 4-year war. Between both sides, nearly 8,000 were killed and more than 27,000 wounded over just three days of fighting.
The Battle of Gettysburg was waged from July 1-3, 1863. Notwithstanding the casualties, it was a Union victory and the turning point in the war. The national cemetery was dedicated 4½ months later, on November 19, 1863. The President’s speech was not the centerpiece of the dedication program. That distinction went to Edward Everett, a former Massachusetts congressman, senator, and governor who had also served as U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom and, briefly, Secretary of State. Everett’s speech weighed in at more than 13,500 words and took two hours to recite. Lincoln’s remarks were a mere 270 words and were read in just a few minutes.
Contrary to the President’s prediction, the world does remember what he said at that ceremony. His words are remarkable in their simplicity and perfect in their recognition that the dedication of the graveyard was a mere formality.
Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
Hey, look! It’s
(*If you use the MM/DD/YY date format and 24-hour time format.)
Hey, look! It’s
(*If you use the MM/DD/YY date format.)
This was originally posted at the Triumphant Red Sox Fan Forum.
Edited for spelling and grammar —TRSF 11/01/2013 15:34EDT
It almost doesn’t seem possible, but it’s true. The Boston Red Sox are 2013 World Series Champions.
The September 2011 collapse that ended Terry Francona’s managerial career in Boston, the Bobby Valentine Era, and last place duds that were the 2012 Red Sox feel like ancient history.
As I drove home from the sports bar where I watched Game 6 with friends and family, I heard a question posed on 98.5 The Sports Hub: Of the three championship teams in the last ten seasons, how would you rank them in terms of favorites? The first thing I thought was, WE’VE WON THREE CHAMPIONSHIPS IN THE LAST TEN SEASONS! (The first team, by the way, to do that in the 21st century, is all.) Then I set my mind to the question.
Each championship has been special in its own way. The 2004 title removed from the Red Sox organization and its long-suffering fans the weight of generations of disappointment. The 2007 title was proof that 2004 was not a fluke and allowed us to enjoy the team’s success as normal fans not starved for enjoyment. But this one is something else entirely, the rare achievement of a front office determined to atone for last year, a manager committed to restoring order and dignity to the team, and players who learned very quickly that each of them had a part to play and did so enthusiastically—on the field and off.
Read more at the Triumphant Red Sox Fan Forum.
Cross-posted from the Triumphant Red Sox Fan Forum.
In case you live outside North America and/or in a cave, you probably know that the Red Sox are going to the World Series for the third time in 10 years. Before 2004, such an achievement was unimaginable.
The Red Sox aren’t the only local team that has enjoyed recent sporting success. Our professional sports franchises have had a tremendous collective run in the last 12 years, with three Super Bowl wins by the Patriots (2002, 2004, 2005), an NBA Championship by the Celtics (2008), and a Stanley Cup by the Bruins (2010) to go along with the Red Sox wins. It hasn’t always been like that. When our teams have enjoyed success, it was usually one at a time, while the other teams floundered. I got thinking that it would be interesting to look at the entire history of our major sports franchises and see exactly what they have and haven’t done for us over the decades. The results surprised me.
Read more at the Triumphant Red Sox Fan Forum.
I used to laugh at people, usually of middle age or older, who swore off caffeine after 3pm. “I can’t have that Snapple/Coke/second cup of coffee or I’ll be awake all night.” I thought it was all in their heads: if they dwelled on it like that, of course they’d be awake all night. Besides, I used to consume ridiculous amounts of caffeine (before my doctor told me to cut waaaay back for medical reasons) and I always slept like a baby.
Now I’m lying in bed, less than two hours before sunrise, having been awake since about 2:30am and not knowing why. Then I remembered the two+ cans of Coke I had before/during/after supper last night at my father’s day-after-birthday dinner. It was as if a giant cosmic finger pointed itself at me and said, “Aha!” Our bodies change as we age and crap like that starts to happen, apparently even to me. Though I don’t understand the physiological reason, it’s nice to know there is one. The universe feels more orderly when I know why.
I believe that everything has a reason. For every effect, there is a cause. I’m not talking about great philosophical questions (Google “Ellen Degeneres Phone Call to God” for a humorous take). I’m talking about something more basic, something simple like a rattle in my car caused by something loose. And when I can’t find it, it’s annoying as hell.
The following was an actual text exchange earlier this week between my son and me. By way of background, my usually brilliant father (“Pop” to his grandchildren) is known for periodically mangling the English language, and the Den Son likes to point it out when he does.
Den Son: Pop was just telling me how he untached the screen door.
Den Mother: I’ve never seen that before. What does it look like?
DS: It looks like detaching a door, but irregardless of grammar.
DM: That sounds like a whole nother thing.
DS: Yeah. Alot of them even.
DM: Your not kidding.
DS: Hey did you watch the Patriot’s on Sunday?
DM: No, but I heard there horrible performance on the radio.
DS: Damn. I was going too use that next.
That’s the point at which I admitted defeat. Because bad grammar/spelling/usage is hard work.
So, how many errors can YOU find?
If you read my previous post, you know that today is the 45th anniversary of my uncle’s death. It is also one of several days on which I ponder the many days on my family calendar that mark multiple events. Apropos of Uncle Nicky:
- The day he died was also his brother-in-law’s—my father’s—birthday.
- Janet, Uncle Nicky’s fiance, was born on my maternal grandmother’s birthday.
There are several other shared dates on my mother’s side of the family, including:
- Cousin Joe’s birth on my mother’s birthday.
- Cousin Linda’s birth on cousin Rob’s birthday.
- Cousin Tricia’s birth on cousin Laura’s birthday.
- My son’s birth on cousin Sally’s birthday.
And that isn’t even including the near-misses, like Uncle Nicky’s birth the day after my mother’s birthday and his namesake cousin Nicky’s birth the day after my brother’s birthday.
On Dad’s side, relatives tend to die on holidays. For example:
- My great-grandfather died on New Year’s Eve.
- My grandfather died on Independence Day.
- My great-aunt died on Thanksgiving.
- My great-grandmother died on St. Patrick’s Day.
- My brother died on the second anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing (OK, not a holiday, but a significant historical date nonetheless).
So on Ma’s side, people tend to be born on other relatives’ birthdays, and on Dad’s side, people tend to die on holidays. But one person mixed it up a little:
- My paternal grandmother was born on Halloween and died on my sister-in-law’s birthday.
Finally, though this wasn’t by chance, my parents were married on my maternal grandmother and almost-aunt’s birthday.
With only 365 or 366 days in any given year, it isn’t unusual that most people would observe some such synchronism among those they know. But I’m not sure I’ve ever known another family with so much of it.
Gone but not forgotten:
Although we are apart,
Your spirit lives within me,
Forever in my heart.
Forty-five years ago today, my uncle died in a car accident. He was 18. In addition to his parents, siblings, nieces and nephews, and friends, he left behind his fiancee. She posted the above quote this morning on her Facebook page.
Janet has never forgotten my uncle, and she has never pretended that she doesn’t miss him every day. She eventually married, had children, and is now a grandmother. She and her husband seem to have a strong, loving marriage, despite the fact that he knows she will always love someone else, too. Or maybe because of it.
Love, if it’s real, doesn’t end when the other person goes away. It took me a long time to understand and accept that. I am thankful to Janet for reminding me.